Knows your rights and entitlement for parental leave.
To be eligible for parental leave, employees must have completed 12 months continuous service with their employer prior to taking the leave.
Only one parent may take leave at the one time, except under the paternity leave provisions which allows the partner to spend one week with the mother at the time of the birth. An employee’s period of available parental leave is shortened by any periods of parental leave taken by their partner.
Female employees may take between six and 52 weeks of maternity leave in one unbroken period. There is a compulsory period of six weeks maternity leave following the birth of the baby.
Most employers require notification and a medical certificate at least ten weeks before the expected birth date. This certificate must state that she is pregnant and include the expected due date. Most employers require notification of the proposed commencement date of maternity leave for weeks in advance.
Paid maternity leave is available; however the period of time varies considerably depending on your employer and/or award.
There are a number of other benefits and entitlements available to parents during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood and it is worth researching these as they can again vary.
In some circumstances, you may use available sick leave to attend antenatal appointments.
If you work in a hazardous environment your employer is required to temporarily adjust your working conditions or hours of work to decrease the risk during pregnancy.
Male employees are entitled to two periods of paternity leave. If the birth occurs at a different time than expected the employee remains entitled to paternity leave.
Short Paternity Leave
A period of unbroken leave of up to one week can be taken at the time of the birth. This is the only paternity leave that can be taken concurrently with the mother’s maternity leave.
Extended Paternity Leave
This is a further unbroken period of up to 51 weeks paternity leave available to fathers who are the primary care-giver of the child.
Most employers require written notice and a medical certificate at least 10 weeks before the proposed period of leave, stating his partner is pregnant, the expected due date and the dates he proposes to start and finish the period(s) of leave.